Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teaneck Planners Back Rte. 4 Housing

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teaneck Planners Back Rte. 4 Housing

Article excerpt

TEANECK -- The Planning Board amended the township's master plan to recommend allowing apartment housing -- or possibly a hotel -- in what is currently an industrial stretch along Route 4.

The unanimous decision Thursday evening comes as the board and Township Council consider several proposals for multifamily housing.

The amendment, drafted by Teaneck's planner, Phillips Preiss Grygiel LLC, justifies creating an overlay zone for the 18-acre industrial area along Alfred Avenue -- which is parallel to Route 4 and near Teaneck's border with Englewood -- to allow a multifamily residential community there.

"Based on the area's overall size, locational attributes and surrounding land use context, it was determined that a rezoning of the area to encourage multifamily residential development with a potential hotel component will further several Master Plan goals and objectives and reverse the area's decline," according to the amendment.

The amendment argues that changing demographics and the location of the properties, among other reasons, make such apartment housing a great fit for the area.

It also says that the new zone would allow for a hotel to be built there, though planner Richard Preiss told the board that he does not believe there is a market in the near future for a hotel in that area.

"However, 10 or 15 years from now, is it a possibility? Yes it is. And the upside is great if that happens," said Preiss, noting that hotels face an additional tax that benefits municipalities.

The Township Council next would have to pass an ordinance -- requiring votes at two meetings -- to make the change by creating an overlay zone that details building requirements. This would allow existing businesses to continue operating while opening the door for developers to build apartment-style housing.

"We're creating the opportunity for someone to come in and build something for the best use of that area and the best interest of Teaneck," said Eric Brauer, the board's vice chairman. …

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